S.Korea targets Apple over new app retailer regulation

The Apple Inc. brand is seen hanging on the entrance to the Apple retailer on fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

SEOUL: Apple Inc was on a collision course with South Korea on Friday over new necessities that it cease forcing app builders to make use of its cost methods, with a authorities official warning of a potential investigation into the iPhone maker’s compliance.

The event comes after South Korea amended the Telecommunication Enterprise Act in August to attempt to curb the tech majors’ market dominance and cease the massive app retailer operators reminiscent of Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google from charging commissions on in-app purchases.

The legislation went into impact final month however Apple had informed the South Korean authorities that it was already complying and didn’t want to vary its app retailer coverage, a Korea Communications Fee (KCC) official answerable for the matter informed Reuters.

“This goes towards the aim of the amended legislation,” the official stated, requesting anonymity because the KCC was nonetheless in talks with Apple on compliance.

The regulator would ask Apple’s South Korean unit for a brand new firm coverage giving larger autonomy in cost strategies, and if Apple did not comply, would contemplate measures reminiscent of a fact-finding probe as a precursor to potential fines or different penalties.

Apple didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Google had knowledgeable the KCC that it deliberate to adjust to the legislation, together with permitting third-party cost methods, and would talk about the matter with the regulator beginning subsequent week, the KCC official stated.

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Google didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters’ request for remark.

Jung Jong-chae, a lawyer specialising in antitrust issues, stated Apple had extra to lose than Google from the Korean regulation.

“Variations between Apple and Google in willingness to present floor could also be as a result of Apple controls every part from {hardware} to working system (OS) to app market to cost system,” he informed Reuters.

“And (Apple) has extra to lose if its dominance breaks on any entrance, which might result in requires openness on different fronts.”